tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 3, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
on our broadcast tonight, the power shift under way in egypt. the president is gone, driven out by the military. and with millions in the streets, now another egyptian president brought down. we'll go to richard engel and our team live in tahrir square. the evidence presented today in the murder trial of george zimmerman,. the gun used to kill trayvon martin and the sweatshirt trayvon martin wore that night as the prosecution begins to wrap up its case. what lies beneath as millions head to the beaches, there's a problem. the waters aren't entirely safe in many places where sandy visited. "nightly news" begins now. good evening.
it is a wild night in tahrir square in cairo and across egypt for that matter. just today and just like that, their new president is gone. the last time we saw an upheaval like this was during the arab spring, when hosni mubarak was thrown from power. the new president, morsi, was democratically elected. now he's gone after a year in office. and right now, tonight, the power structure is vague, after the military rolled in. our team is in place in cairo tonight, including our chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, back on familiar territory. richard, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. some people here are saying what has happened today was a coup. that is certainly what the now ousted president morsi is saying in the only statements so far. he said "a revolution has been stolen." but in tahrir square, they are not calling this a coup.
they say it was military intervention at their request for change. just watch. and listen. it's the cry of millions of egyptians, an outpouring of joy and relief. that a weight has been lifted from their shoulders. the end of an experiment in political islam, gone wrong. >> i'm crying, because i'm so happy. so happy, we get rid of them. >> we are now free of the muslim brotherhood. >> reporter: a reset button pushed once again by egyptian politics, by protests and ultimately the military. tonight, as army helicopters flew over tahrir square, egyptians lit them up with lasers, thanking the military for driving out president morsi, who they claim neglected the thedz of the people while empowering muslim fundamentalis fundamentalists. make no mistake, these celebrations are not even against islam, or even islam in politics, but against morsi and the muslim brotherhood, for
using religion to win votes and then governing badly. the celebrations were triggered by this highly anticipated announcement. the army chief on national television outlining a road map. morsi out, the constitution suspended, the head of the constitutional court, the new president. but only until early elections. the army stressed, it doesn't want to run egypt. can it be believed? what about morsi and his supporters? they're calling this a faked coup, an affront to islam, a plot by america and islam. they are furious. the army has deployed armored vehicles to detain them. but they are armed, and some could start an insurgency. back in tahrir square, back with the winners, what about democracy? is a military intervention really what they wanted? no. but they say it was their only choice to fix a mistake they don't want to repeat.
and, brian, tonight, there are deep concerns about what will happen next in this country. the u.s. embassy which is located just at the back of tahrir square has ordered all nonessential personnel and their families to leave egypt, and is even encouraging american citizens in egypt to leave the country. brian. >> and, richard, isn't job one of the military now to convince a couple million people to go home and to peacefully leave the scare? and what will victory look like for them in that way? >> reporter: these protesters are probably going to be in this square for the next several days at least. the first order of business from the military seems to be to try and limit incitement, already there have been arrests and moves to close down some of the muslim brotherhood television stations. they do not want radical clerics, radical islamics taking to the airwaves and calling on morsi supporters to come out and start an uprising. the army's concern right now is
not these people in the square, but mostly the people who backed morsi who tonight did not get their way. >> amid the fireworks, gunfire and laser pointers, richard engel above a noisy and boisterous tahrir square. richard, thanks. let's go to street level in cairo and the people who made this happen. the last time they tossed out a president, the solution was not what many had in mind. aymon spent time with protesters. >> reporter: they came by the hundreds of thousands and spoke with one voice. >> i can't explain. it's really a burden gone. >> reporter: this woman among them, helping bring down the one man she once voted for. >> i wasn't that optimistic, but this is much better than i expected. >> reporter: morsi's outster is what protesters have hoped for. continuation of a revolution that began two years ago. for millions like her, life in
egypt had become intolerable. >> this is not about morsi per se, the person this is about the promises, plans, and the future and all things he promised he could not fulfill. >> reporter: crime soaring, the economy crumbling and above all, the revolution, the one they fought for back in tahrir square, was being hijacked by islamist fundamentalists. even going back to tahrir to protest was too dangerous for her and her friends. sexual harassment of women there was rampant. they demonstrated outside the presidential palace instead. tonight, finally calls for change have been answered. great concern about what comes next, she feels once again egypt is a country she can be proud of. this evening, the message out of tahrir, they have endured dictatorships, totalitarian regimes, and a short-lived islamic government. the message, they keep saying over and over again, they want their freedom. they will not be deterred from
it and, more importantly, they are willing to die for their freedom. brian? >> part of 0 our team there in cairo. thanks. after watching all of this from the white house, we turn to u.s. reaction to all of this. let's bring in chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell. in our d.c. newsroom tonight, andrea? >> reporter: after meeting with his national security team, president obama issued a statement, saying is he deeply concerned on the military's removal of president morsi and the suspension of the constitution, the president calling upon the military there to quickly return full authority to a democratically elected government. and to avoid arbitrary arrests of morsi and supporters, the president is directing review of a billion and a half dollars of aid to egypt. the white house is on the spot, though, because of a perception, a widely held perception among protesters and elsewhere that the u.s. has
overlooked the crackdown on democracy as long as he agreed to keep the 34-year peace treaty with israel. critics say the u.s. should have withheld the aid along the way. the irony is, after being abused of sticking too long with hosni mubarak two years ago, once again, the u.s. is tagged on the wrong side of history in egypt. brian? >> we'll watch as this continues to roll out. andrea mitchell tonight. andrea, thanks. another dramatic day in the second degree murder trial of george zimmerman in florida. as the jury got a good look at the physical evidence like trayvon martin's clothing that night and the gun used to kill him. nbc's ron mott has our report from sanford, florida. >> reporter: today, jurors got an upclose look at trayvon martin's blood stained hoody and the bullet hole created by the .9 millimeter pistol. what a state ballistics expert described as a contact shot. >> meaning the muzzle or the barrel of the gun was up against the sweatshirt when it was fired? >> correct. >> a complete dna profile which matched george zimmerman. >> reporter: dna testimony
confirmed only zimmerman's fingerprints found on the gun and no dna of zimmerman's found underneath trayvon's finger nails. it was also a day zimmerman's law enforcement know-how was made public with his college professor, army prosecutor, saying that zimmerman aced a criminal litigation class. >> probably one of the better students in the class. >> 2010 course included discussions of florida's self-defense law, commonly called stand your ground. contradicting zimmerman's tv interview, where he said he had no knowledge of the law. before shoot iing martin. >> prior to this night, this incident, had you even heard stand your ground? >> no, sir. >> reporter: zimmerman has pled not guilty saying he fired in self-defense. the witness testified that he taught that self-defense has its limits. >> we talked about imperfect self-defense, where you may have started out being the person that was attacked, but for
whatever reason, you took it a step forward and now you are the aggressor. >> reporter: he told defense attorney don west the standard is imminent fear. >> you don't have to wait until you are almost dead before you can defend yourself? >> no. i would advise you don't do that. >> reporter: this brought a smile and chuckle from the defendant. court closed tomorrow for the fourth of july holiday. the state is expected to call its final witness and rest its case when testimony resumes on friday. ron mott, nbc news, sanford, florida. lots of reaction today at the obama administration announced a one-year delay for businesses with 50 or more employ yoes to provide health coverage or pay a penalty. democrats said it showed flexibility toward the businesses that have to comply, republicans call it an admission the law won't work pointing to the fact, pong other things, it was announced on the eve of a holiday weekend while the president was in the air. it will take affect in 2015,
affecting 4% of american businesses. in arizona, finally some progress to report tonight in the huge wildfire that has claimed the lives of 19 firefighters. it is at least 10% contained now, and the investigation is under way into this extraordinary and crushing loss of life. our report tonight >> carrier of the granite mountain shot shots to begin their journey home. >> reporter: 19 firefighters never made it back from the firefight. today in a solemn tribute their vehicles came home. along the three-hour journey. operations paused to remember the victims. back inside the 13 square mile burn zone, investigators focus on the mountain side where the bodies were discovered. >> all went up the hill. >> reporter: officials will listen to radio calls, including the may day from the hot shot team, the investigation will also focus on the weather and the violent 45-mile-an-hour winds. >> they'll be looking at
probably the entire history of the fire. and try to piece it together. >> reporter: piecing together what went wrong, why firefighters couldn't reach emergency escape routes could take investigators weeks. the final photo of crews marching towards the flames, even cell phone video of the unit responding to the fire, may offer clues. >> i want to acknowledge brendon, number 20. he laid his life on the line as well. >> last night, the sole survivor of sunday's fire paid tribute to thfallen crew. brendon mcdonough was the lookout. from a hillside a mile away he was in contact. he was observing fire behavior, weather and topography. he warned his unit as the blaze swept toward them. >> we can gain a lot of intelligence from this, the firefighters will be better trained to prepare to try to prevent further tragedies like this. >> reporter: tonight on a scorched mountainside where 19 men gave their lives, the certificate of for answers now begins.
well, the great escape under way across the country. millions on the move for the holiday weekend. a lot of those out east are headed to beaches, including the jersey shore where tourism is a huge economic engine and they are advertising they are back. but arriving beachgoers may encounter problems underfoot. all that stuff that sandy tore up and blew away had to end up somewhere, and sadly, there is a lot of it in the water right where people want to go. our report from the shore tonight from nbc's katy tur. ♪ cause we're stronger than the storm ♪ >> reporter: a $25 million campaign, encouraging visitors to come back. >> jersey shore is open.
>> because we're stronger than the storm. >> reporter: open, but not entirely ready. from a newly discovered but long buried world war ii era military mine exposed by sandy and blown up by experts, to a piece of a carnival ride pulled from the waters of seaside park. what lies beneath the waves is still a mystery. >> i honestly believe if you hit the wrong thing, it could kill you. imagine one of these barbs being in the water. >> reporter: this is the lifeguard captain for seaside park. >> all of this concrete here is now in the water. >> somewhere. >> reporter: somewhere. >> you don't think it is right there? >> not necessarily. >> reporter: eight months of work, and much has been removed, including the infamous roller coaster. in fact, the state estimates it's taken out 80,000 cubic yards of debris. enough to fill 6,667 dump trucks.
that sounds like a lot but there's 130 miles of coastline and they have been using aerial scans of the shoreline and sonar in the water, but still more out there, more washing up, and that's why you are seeing this beach here in middletown completely empty. empty, because at this beach, it's not safe to swim yet. >> we've found everything, we've found appliances, car parts, parts of decks, siding, roofing, you name it. >> reporter: down the shore, the desire for a comeback outweighs many of the concerns. >> this is what it's all about. bring your family, enjoy yourself. >> reporter: on the surface, all may look normal. it's what lies beneath that still haunts the jersey shore. katy tur, nbc news, new jersey. katie tur, nbc news, new jersey. we're back in a moment on what some military families have been forced to go without on this fourth of july.
well, if it's possible to encounter a light moment in an otherwise deadly serious murder trial, it happened today in the zimmerman trial in florida. a witness agreed to appear via skype, a technology that seemed to confound all involved. and the skype account posted on the screen on live tv, they were inundated with on screen skype pop-ups of skype calls who couldn't resist airtime. the whole exercise was scrapped when cooler heads prevailed. the man who converted the mouse from every day rodent to computer and a hanavigating par died. doug engelbart invented the computer mouse. i even posed with a live one to show the point. he was an army war vet with a ph.d. from berkeley. the mouse was just one of his projects that changed computing forever. douglas was 88.
this patriotic week is a big deal for one family in texas. three brothers from one family named noah, summer and cole, all got dropped off at west point this week and if they get through the toughest part and keep going, all three hope to graduate four years from now as newly minted second lieutenants. as we head into july 4th and the holiday weekend, remember this. the reason we blow off fireworks tomorrow night, or go see the professionals do it, is that john adams said we should. he said u.s. independence "ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illumination from one end of the continent to the other. from this time forward forever more. he couldn't have imagined a congress like the one in washington, which has given us the sequester budget cuts because they can't agree on a
budget which means members of the military and their families won't get to see any fireworks this year at places like camp lejeune or ft. bragg because there is no money to pay for it. the wife of a gunnery sergeant at camp lejeune today, a family that has endured seven deployments, said "it's just a bummer for the kids. it's like the grinch stealing christmas." well, there's one founding father at least who would agree with that young mother of three. when we come back object this fourth of july eve, our friday night making a difference on a wednesday. an act of kindness for those who badly need it.
finally tonight, as we said our making a difference report and the kindness of strangers following the fire tragedy in arizona, for the 19 families of the fallen, an outpouring of support from volunteers who know too well what they're going through right now. gabe gutierrez with more on how they are making a difference. >> reporter: loss is often described as unimaginable. but sharon knutsen felix knows the feeling well. that's why she's come to prescott, arizona. >> that is probably the only thing that keeps me going sometimes, knowing i can do something good in one of the
most awful times of people's lives. >> reporter: 15 years ago, her husband doug was killed in the line of duty in her darkest days, she got an unexpected visit. >> it was these strangers that showed up on my door. >> reporter: they were from the 100 club of arizona. a nonprofit that offers immediate financial and emotional help to the surviving spouse and children. >> remember our fallen heroes. >> reporter: word is spreading. at the arizona diamondbacks games -- donations are pouring in. more than half a million dollars in three days. the idea behind the club started in detroit. in 1952. a local businessman asked 100 of his friends to donate $100 to help the family of a fallen police officer. since then the concept has spread to other states. this man is now helping to deliver $15,000 checks to
the families of the fallen firefighters. >> they are overwhelmed. so much they did not expect. ♪ because when i feel love >> reporter: at last night's community vigil, another 100 club member, angela harrell, a widow herself, consoled relatives. >> we hope this money can be used for whatever their desire is. >> reporter: for danny and michelle parker, who just lost their son wayne that support is breath taking. >> the 100 club is not a club you want to be in, but you appreciate it and so grateful for everything they do. >> reporter: a small bit of comfort from those who have been there before. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, prescott, arizona. >> by the way, for those who wish to help, we put a link to the 100 club on our website tonight. for us, that is our broadcast on a wednesday night. thank you for being with us. i'm brian williams, we'll look back for you tomorrow evening. good night. have a happy fourth of july.
based retreat. >> reporter: what i can tell you is we haven't seen a flood of parents coming to pick up their kids. we see a few people who are staff members leaving the camp. what we cannot see from this vantage point is where the tree fell. but we could see just a few minutes ago 50 campers, kids and counsellors playing basketball out here. we're talking about 250 kids, third graders to ninth graders who are here. the good news, none of them were hurt. there are 150 staff members include this staff member who was killed. she was going into her senior year at uc santa cruz. she died at 8:30 this morning at a campfire circle. four other women were hurt and taken to area hospitals. two of them suffered minor inju